Criminal Justice-COAS | Introduction to Criminal Justice
P100 | 14383 | Kearns


This course is an introduction to the administration of criminal
justice. Its focus is the structure, functions, and processes of the
criminal justice system. The principle components of the justice
system – the police, courts, and corrections – as well as the
complex interrelationships among these organizational components and
tensions between them will be examined.

We will explore the processes that constitute each step of the
criminal justice system from decision to arrest, to sentencing,
through reentry as well as definitions of crime and law, the nature
and extent of crime, and the constitutional foundations of law and
justice. The impact of external influences – such as politics and
the media - on the goals and functioning of the criminal justice
system will be analyzed along with historical and international
perspectives on the administration of justice.

Issues of theory versus practice will be illuminated in the criminal
justice system at each step of the process, and our considerations
of the criminal justice system will be contextualized within models
of the criminal justice system such as due process versus crime
control. Finally, contemporary issues and trends such as sentencing
policies, emerging issues in prisons, the “war on drugs”, and the
death penalty will be explored.

Class meeting:  Class Meeting:  Two 50-minute lectures (Monday and
Wednesday, 1:25-2:15) and one 50-minute discussion section each week.

Instructor:  Amy Kearns, Criminal Justice Department